After schools reopened for students of Classes X and XII from November 21 in the state, many rural schools have seen a major improvement in attendance from students on Monday and Tuesday. Many of the village schools, where students were facing hurdles in connecting to online classes due to internet connectivity and other issues, have decided to discontinue online sessions for Classes X and XII.
School heads said village schools have a more manageable number of
students in a class and therefore adhering to norms of social distancing is
not an issue. When physical classes for Class X and XII resumed, institutes
said, parents expressed satisfaction at the arrangements made for safety
of students against Covid-19. And with physical sessions being carried on
satisfactorily, there is no need to continue online classes, schools said.
“We have 35 students studying in Class X. The attendance is now above 95%. We are conducting the classes by maintaining the number strictly at 12 students per class. We will only conduct physical classes now for Class X students and will have online classes only for students from Classes V to IX.
Parents are satisfied with the arrangements we have made,” Marcaim-based Shrimati Anandibai Mahanandu Naik High School’s headmaster Umakant Naik said.
Goa Headmasters’ Association former president and Canacona resident Vithoba Dessai said that 30% students in rural areas were not connected to online classes due to different reasons.
“Some do not have devices. If they have devices, they do not have network. In cases where the family has a smartphone, the parents have to take it to work and so the child is unable to access the classes. Many schools will be in a quandary now on what to do with these students, who could not attend online classes at all,” Dessai said
In the case of urban schools, however, most managements are opting to continue with the online classes. Students of these institutes have managed to resolve connectivity issues and institutes too do not want to disturb the online sessions, which have been streamlined by now.
These urban schools are mostly utilising the physical classes only to complete the pending practicals in the laboratory, taking advantage of the permission granted for Class X and XII students to attend school physically.
“Out of 36 students, 30 students attended on Monday. Our online classes are on and the physical classes will only be for practicals and to solve any difficulties of the students. We are focusing on practicals for Class X and XII as they have to be completed before the term ends. We are trying to finish it in case Covid cases rise again,” Panaji’s People’s High School managing trustee Rahul Deshpande said.
Cujira-based Dr K B Hedgewar High School head Vilas Satarkar said that online classes will continue as scheduled in the early morning hours, while letting students complete practical work as prescribed by the state board during the physical sessions.
For urban schools, carrying out physical classes is a challenge also due to the high enrolment in them.
“We have a high enrolment and to hold classes with only 12 in one classroom has its challenges. The teacher will have to repeat the same thing three times,” Deshpande said.